By Ali Richardson, Staff Writer
Mandie Paulson, junior speech therapy major, attended Disney’s college program this past January which ran to the end of July at Disney World.
“Disney has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I went to Disney back with my high school band, and one of the cast members was like, ‘Yeah, do the college program. It’s a lot of fun I’m on it right now.’ I was like ‘oh okay, that sounds fun,’” Paulson said.
Paulson talked about going through the process of getting into the Disney college program and what steps it took. “You apply online and upload your resume. You fill out questions about which positions you want. After that stage, if you get past it, you get a web based interview, and it’s all online questions about personality stuff. Immediately after your finished it tells you whether you moved onto a phone interview and then you’ll schedule a time and a date. And Disney will actually call you,” Paulson said.
Paulson said it was quite nerve-wracking talking on the phone with Disney. “They ask you questions based on the roles you put. Like, ‘Do you have a preference on where you want to be put, do you have any favorite Disney movies or characters?’ It was actually very cool,” Paulson said.
Paulson explained her role at Disney World was in merchandising at Disney Springs.
“I did merchandise. So, running all the stores. I did the merchandise for all the new movies that came in and putting stuff on shelves and greeting guests as they walk in. I got to play with toys and children too,” Paulson said.
Paulson loved the interactions with different people she encountered during her internship. “I loved the people I worked with. They become your little family, because you see them every day. You go through everything together, victories and downfalls. Then you hang out outside of work. I also loved getting to work with people who were not from the United States, like the UK, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. I’m still good friends with them.” Paulson said.
Paulson especially liked interactions that she shared with the guests. “I loved the guest interaction. The magical moments when you get to make someone’s day brighter and happier. Just by sharing a moment with them or playing with them. Giving them a pin off of your lanyard,” Paulson said.
Paulson was there for six months but said there are different opportunities and lengths as well.
“There are different lengths of time you can do. For example, I did the spring, which went from January to May, and then I extended through the summer to go to the end of July. Some people will do Spring Advantage which goes from January to August automatically. There is the summer alumni program you can do the summer which is June to August. Same thing from the fall goes from August to December, and to January is Fall Advantage,” Paulson said.
Paulson explained more about the time to apply. “You start applying the semester before you plan on going. So right now the application is going on for the Spring of 2020,” Paulson said.
Paulson shared some encouragement for anyone who would want to attend.
“It’s a lot of fun, I recommend it to anyone who is even considering [a Disney internship],” Paulson said.